The movie itself counts as one for the Coen Brothers. Name another of their works that comes half as close to the levels of insanity and awesomeness that this one does. Easily one of the most Crazy Awesome movies ever, making it a prime example of Crowning Moment Of Awesome in filmmaking.
Walter, after spending most of the movie being a hot-headedload who generally gets the Dude into more trouble than necessary, finally proves himself useful with a Let's Get Dangerous moment in which he confronts the Nihilists, who are threatening him, the Dude, and Donny, for money. Not only does he pretty accurately see that they're mostly bark rather than bite ("Don't worry Donny, these men are cowards, they won't harm us.") and that they're mainly Wangsty poseurs ("Fair?! Who's the fucking nihilists around here, you bunch of fucking crybabies?!"), but he proceeds to more-or-less single-handedly hand each of them their asses when things finally get physical. ("ANTI-SEMITE!!!"):
Nihilist: Okay. So we take ze money you haf on you, und ve calls it eefen. Walter:[Tranquil Fury] Fuck you. The Dude: Hey, no, come on, Walter. We're ending this thing cheap, man. Walter: No, what's mine is mine. Nihilist: No funny shtuff. The Dude: Alright, alright, I've got four dollars, almost five... Donny: Hey, I got eighteen dollars. Walter: What's mine is mine. Nihilist: We fuck you ups, man. We takes the money. Walter: Come and get it. [Ass-kicking commences]
Also, even though he is a loud-mouthed, over-reacting asshole, every single theory Walter advances ends up being absolutely correct
The utter ease with which he delivers the ass-kicking of the nihilists deserves further mention. Without breaking a sweat, Walter takes out one by hurling a bowling ball at his chest, then he punches out the sword-wielding one, and finally he bites off the other one's ear. The nihilists had no idea that they were Bullying a Dragon.
The Dude, after being passive and laid-back for the entire movie, gets one when he figures out the scheme and storms into the Big Lebowski's home and confronts him with the truth of what he's done:
The Dude: You thought that Bunny had been kidnapped and you were fuckin' glad, man. You could use it as an excuse to make some money disappear. All you needed was a sap to pin it on! You'd just met me! You human... paraquat! You figured 'Oh, here's a loser', you know? A deadbeat, someone the square community won't give a shit about. The Big Lebowski: Well, aren't you? The Dude:[Almost proud] Well, yeah!
"Jesus" (the pederast bowler) has something of a Crowning Moment of Awesome when he tells off Walter — "You pull any of your crazy shit with us, you flash a piece out on the lanes, I'll take it away from you, stick it up your ass and pull the fucking trigger till it goes 'click.'" And Walter has no retort.
Although Walter might claim a Moment Of Awesome back from him; once Jesus has strutted off, Walter's nonchalant mutter of "Eight-year-olds, Dude," to the Dude (reminding everyone that Jesus is a convicted pederast) suggests that he's unimpressed despite the bluster, and simply finds Jesus and his taunts not worth responding to. Which, in light of the fact that throughout the movie Walter will otherwise respond to any insult, real or imagined, with bombastic Hair-Trigger Temper sensitivity perhaps gives an indication for the sheer level of contempt he views Jesus with.
The Dude somehow manages to make a Lame Comeback one by offering it in an utterly unconcerned fashion in the face of Jesus' bluster:
Jesus: You ready to be fucked, man? I see you rolled your way into the semis. Dios mio, man. Liam and me, we're gonna fuck you up.
The Dude: Yeah, well, you know, that's just like... uh... your opinion man.
Maude Lebowski: "Love me, Jeffrey." And as it happens, she ends up knocked up (as planned) from that one night stand.
And how can anyone forget after receiving a verbal beating by The Big Lebowski, The Dude, calm as ever, just puts on his sunglasses and delivers a perfectly cool "Fuck it."
The Big Lebowski's pain, grief and anger when he confronts The Dude with the severed toe, when you realize he's faking. If he even believes Bunny is kidnapped, he has no intention of paying the ransom to get her back as long as he has The Dude to take the blame for the missing money; he's just putting on a show for Brandt, or maybe even just The Dude. Makes you wonder if that leg twitch when Walter throws him on the floor was an acting mistake. . .
Chief of Police of Malibu: Mr. Treehorn draws a lot of water in this town. You don't draw shit, Lebowski. Now we got a nice, quiet little beach community here, and I aim to keep it nice and quiet. So let me make something plain. I don't like you sucking around, bothering our citizens, Lebowski. I don't like your jerk-off name. I don't like your jerk-off face. I don't like your jerk-off behavior, and I don't like you, jerk-off. Do I make myself clear?
The Dude: I'm sorry, I wasn't listening. (The chief of police beans him in the face with a coffee cup) OW! Fucking fascist!